I “met” Angela, designer behind Olive Yew Jewels on the Alterations Needed forum (an excellent resource for petite women, by the way).  I instantly fell in love with her designs and I’m so excited to feature her store today.

If you see anything awesome (which I guarantee you will), be sure to use code SHOPENS for 10% off!

In addition to the 10% off code, Angela will be sponsoring a giveaway just for ShopHappens readers in the near future, so be sure to check back soon.  In the meantime, you can find her at her personal blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook!

How long have you been selling on Etsy? How did you become interested in creating your own handmade products?

I’ve been selling on Etsy since mid April of this year. I’ve made stuff since I can remember. I majored in art in college and fell into graphic design. I enjoyed it for about 14 years and added children’s books illustrator, art director and finally creative director to my resume. As print media died out so did my passion for design. I tried web design but I was miserable – and I wanted out of corporate America. So I left, and began making jewelry. It wasn’t the safest move, but it was the best one I’ve ever made.

Teeny tiny pink rhodolite heart gold necklace

Teeny tiny pink rhodolite heart gold necklace

What inspires you?

Pretty much everything can be inspiring. I love looking through magazines, catalogs, books and I voraciously consume visual content online. I pay attention to what folks around me are wearing, and often am inspired by my friends and family. Travel also inspires me. No matter where I go, I love seeing new trends, new sights & smells and even the pay attention to different colors of dirt. I’ve always looked at dirt for some reason. I guess it’s because I’m a gardener and I love to look at places from the bottom up. Dirt is where it all begins.

What are some of your favorite colors/patterns/design aesthetics? How do you incorporate them into your work?

My favorites have changed a lot recently. For instance, I used to hate purple – all of a sudden I can’t get enough of it. I love rich plums, violets and lavenders. The same with teal. It’s like I just recently noticed the beauty in these colors. I think sometimes designers are scared of color and patterns- which is strange. Or maybe it was just me? Now that I’m “free” – it’s like I see the world in a whole different way. Everything is a potential favorite. Nothing is off limits. I’m even beginning to like patterns in moderation – although I still don’t think I own an article of clothing with a pattern on it. Ha!

Pink and orange gold earrings

Pink and orange gold earrings

Who are some of your favorite celebrities? Whose style would match up with what’s available in your store?

For some reason I really like Nicole Ritchie. I love the ways she looks and her relaxed style. Plus, she seems like she’d be fun to hang out with and a good girlfriend.

What is your workroom like? What conditions lead you to create the best work?

Olive Yew Jewels studio space

Olive Yew Jewels studio space

My studio is chaos most of the time. I really try to keep it straight, but it’s difficult-especially lately. Things are really getting busy and I’m becoming messier. But I am so happy to finally have a studio-it’s only 2 months old! Before that I was on the floor all the time within a nest of beads, silver & gold!

I think being busy gets the best out of me. The busier I become, the better my work gets. I don’t have time to play or get sucked into Gawker for 3 solid hours anymore. I have to work 12-16 hours a day to meet demand. I haven’t a clue what’s going on with Lindsay Lohan, and that makes me infinitely happy these days.

How long does it take to design and create each piece?

It depends. Sometimes I can knock a piece out in less than an hour and sometimes I can tinker for days. But I tell you what, the busier I get the better I get at cutting the tinkering off. At some point a piece has to get finished. Period.

Being a designer/illustrator/creative director for so many years helped me a lot with that. I could tinker for hours on a page layout, but I had to hit tight deadlines most of the time. I also had to be creative at a moment’s notice. It trained my brain to scan the bigger picture (all my supplies & options) for the best visual solution. It’s like a puzzle to me. All of the pieces are always there…always. It’s just up to me to put them together & make it work.

What is your favorite product so far?

I actually just finished it today. It’s a sterling silver ring with a stunning shade of teal. Again, one of my new favorite colors. But ask me tomorrow…it seems to change everyday.

Teal Ring by Olive Yew Jewels

Teal Ring by Olive Yew Jewels

I also like my domed rings and my orange and teal gold earrings. Orange is another color I’ve grown to love over the past few years.

What is the most interesting request you’ve received from a customer?

I like hearing from brides to be. They usually have a pretty good idea of what they want – and I’ve had great luck pleasing them so far. I was scared of bridezillas when I first opened shop, but I have never encountered anyone rude or hostile on Etsy. Knock on wood.

So the interesting part is that the customer base I most feared has turned out to be my most lucrative, supportive and my favorite!

Multiple bridesmaids necklaces

Multiple bridesmaids necklaces

What makes your Etsy store different from others?

I think I put a lot of thought into the overall look and feel of my store. I try really really hard to convey a feeling when you come into my shop. I want a potential customer to think “ahhhh…so calm & pretty, I must have that”. I’d like for it to be a little escape from the busyness and over stimulation of the world around us.

From the photos to the branding to the marketing of my shop-everything must work together. There are a few pieces I see in my shop that aren’t perfectly in sync, but I’m learning and tweaking all the time.

Some shops seem like a mishmash of items and styles. The photography and product is everywhere – light, dark, bright, big, small etc. I learned a lot from looking at those shops.

I also learned so much from looking at the really good shops-the ones I absolutely adore. Great ones are cohesive in their brand, photography and messaging. The message? Desire. “I must have that.”

Pink chalcedony, garnet and quartz gold necklace

Pink chalcedony, garnet and quartz gold necklace


Thank you again, Angela! And readers, don’t forget to use code SHOPENS for 10% off your order at the Olive Yew Jewels store! (And remember – giveaway coming soon!)

If you or anyone you know is interested in being spotlighted here at ShopHappens, please let me know! You can reach me by email, on Twitter, or Facebook!

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4 Responses to Etsy Spotlight: Angela from Olive Yew Jewels

  1. Angela says:

    Thanks so much Erin! This was a ton of fun!!

  2. […] The lovely Erin from shop happens (such a cute name) contacted me the other day requesting an interview about my work and shop. I was thrilled! Someone actually asked me to go on and on about myself! […]

  3. Michelle says:

    Thank you both for this awesome post! As someone considering selling on Etsy, this was very informative and encouraging. The photography is lovely!

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